PEOPLE are living in fear in a housing estate after their block became a target in a series of arson attacks.

Estuary Housing Association, which manages the Woodgrange Estate, in Southend, has come under criticism for not doing enough to make sure its tenants are safe.

Since October 5 up until October 20, a number of incidents including cars being set alight in the block car park, and bin chutes on several floors have been plaguing the residents of Skelter Steps on a weekly basis.

Mum-of-one, Jolene Baker, said: “We are getting nowhere with Estuary and my ten-year-old daughter who has autism is scared.

“She is saying she doesn’t want to go to school because she is worried I’ll be burnt in the fire. She is even having trouble sleeping because she is so worried and then she has a rubbish day at school because she is so tired.

“These fires are happening every single Saturday and nothing is being done.

“Estuary say it’s the down to the property maintenance company but when we’ve spoken to them they’re saying it’s down to Estuary.

“It just feels like they are passing the buck.”

The mum added: “The fire alarms didn’t even go off on Sunday during the last fire because they don’t work.

“We are just starting to wonder what’s next with these arsonists.”

A spokesman for Estuary Housing Association, said: “All blocks on the estate have passive fire safety systems installed.

“The fire alarm at the affected block is in full working order and covers the corridors throughout the block - the detectors did not activate at the weekend because the smoke was contained within the bin area by the fire doors.

“We wrote to residents earlier this year to advise that we would be commencing a fire door replacement programme.

“The existing doors are safe and will provide protection for residents, however we are upgrading the entrance doors to meet modern standards. All doors will be replaced by mid 2020.

“We know our residents are worried and want to assure them that we take their safety very seriously. “

Essex Police, confirmed police attended on one of the incidents and that extra patrols would now be carried out in the area.

A spokesman for Essex Police, said: “We were called shortly before 8pm on Saturday October 12 with reports that a bin chute on Hawtree Close had been deliberately set on fire.

“Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact Southend Community Policing Team on 101, quoting 42/163812/19.”

A spokesman for Essex Fire and Rescue Service confirmed crews had been called on Saturday night and inspectors have not ruled out arson.

The fire service also confirmed the incident on Sunday where a car was set alight.

The incident has been recorded as deliberate.